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Potential Energy vs. Position Graph 
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#1
Dec1812, 01:53 PM

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I attached a graph of a potential energy vs. position graph. My question is, the relative minimum is characterized as a equilibrium point, but what is, specifically, is this type of equilibrium pointa stable, unstable, or neutral one?



#2
Dec1812, 02:35 PM

P: 937

I am reading this article, http://home.comcast.net/~sharov/PopE...9/equilib.html, regarding potential energy and equilibrium, and I am rather bewildered by the article's use of the word asymptote. The sentence containing it is, "An equilibrium is considered stable (for simplicity we will consider asymptotic stability only)..." I tried to look up the word in the dictionary, but it came up with only the mathematical definition. What do they mean by asymptotic stability?



#3
Dec1812, 02:46 PM

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#4
Dec1812, 02:55 PM

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Potential Energy vs. Position Graph



#5
Dec1812, 03:17 PM

P: 937

So, does a relative minimum always correspond to a stable equilibrium? At this point, the system possesses kinetic energy and potential energy, but that seems odd. Could you give me an example of a system that is in stable equilibrium that possesses kinetic energy and potential energy? Also, I understand that the slope of the potential energy vs. position graph is force, but why does it have to be the negative of the slope in order for it to be force?



#6
Dec1912, 04:42 PM

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